BEARD IN A BOX by Bill Cotter
Kirkus Star


by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
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A boy scientifically proves that it’s the beard that makes his dad so awesome. So…how to get one?

The baby-faced white narrator won’t grow a beard for at least 10 years, but that doesn’t stop him from trying: using markers, gluing on some hair stripped from his cat. But then a TV infomercial for a Beard in a Box seems to speak directly to him: “I have an amazing offer for you.” By the end of the spot, the boy is yelling over the phone, “Please, take my money!” He carefully follows all the steps, applying the beard seeds, watering, doing the facial exercises, waiting…10-15 years. Whoa! “Who would have thought SCAM-O would be a dishonest company?” A newly shaved dad arrives on the scene to calm him down. Echoing the vignettes that began the book, the closing pages show the dad doing all the things that made him cool, only this time, he does them with his just-as-cool son, teaching him that “awesomeness…is about the kind of person you are.” Illustrations done in graphite, watercolor, and Photoshop up the humor level significantly. From the boy’s imaginings of what his beard will look like (and each beard’s accompanying attribute) to the hysterical vignettes showing him waiting for the mail, exercising his face, and expressing his frustration, the facial expressions are spot-on.

Yes, dads are awesome, and if you hang out with them, they’ll teach you to be awesome too. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 19th, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-553-50835-2
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2016


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